ATTRACTING HISPANIC MILLENIALS

YOUTHFUL DINERS WITH LONG-TERM POTENTIAL

The Hispanic Millennial segment (ages 18 – 30+) is one of the most important consumer segments and makes up the second largest Hispanic group living in the United States. In 2013, this vital and growing group represented 25% of all Hispanics, as well as 21% of all Millennials in the U.S.

Based on current trends, both their numbers and lifetime value (income over time) are growing, so restaurant owners and operators need to understand the lifestyles, values and tastes of this demographic in order to successfully entice them through their doors.

UNDERSTANDING THE GROUP’S MINDSET

Hispanics differ from the broader U.S. Millennial market. Overall, they are more optimistic than non-Hispanic Millennials, more invested in higher education and more driven by the “American Dream,” placing more importance on owning a home, achieving advanced degrees and starting their own business.  

This young audience is loyal to the businesses that they patronize, the products they buy and the restaurants they frequent. The quality of and trust for both products and companies that market to them are the two most important drivers of this loyalty.

REACHING TODAY’S YOUNG, HUNGRY GENERATION

A recent study by The Hartmann Group sheds light on what the Millennial demographic looks for when dining out. Some of the findings reveal ways restaurants can better attract these coveted guests.

Well over half (68%) surveyed said they ask friends for recommendations before selecting a restaurant. This age group’s heavy reliance on peer opinion points out the importance of word-of-mouth and social media. They are heavy digital and especially heavy mobile users, with many carrying smartphones.
Increasingly, social media engagement is engrained in this generation’s lives via interactive sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. As a group, they text more than they talk so it is important to establish a social media and digital presence for your business. Make sure to post your location, hours of operation, menus, cuisine photos, and reviews for easy access.
More than half (55%) of the survey respondents prefer communal tables at restaurants. Because of their more social nature, it makes sense to maintain flexible seating arrangements that accommodate customers’ sociability and tendency to dine frequently with friends.
 
Hispanic diners, especially Millennials, eat out most frequently at lunch. Consider extended lunch hours and menus to assure diners that they’ll always find a variety of choices and can be seated quickly.

Many Millennials prefer fresh, natural choices over processed foods. Traditional meals that are made from fresh ingredients always generate guest appeal. Be sure to highlight these items throughout your menu and train your staff to promote these options.

Customizable food is a need, not a luxury, and today’s most successful restaurant chains know that. Unique, made-to-order drink combinations are the norm from Starbucks to McDonald’s. Cater to this need with menu items that allow guests to “make it their own.”

Often, it’s not just about nutrition for Millennials. They view food as entertainment, and an opportunity for social interaction and self-expression. This group also wants to know the history and cultural significance of different foods. Try enhancing your customer’s dining experience with themed events, unique promotional offers, celebrations, or food and beverage tastings.

WORTH THE EFFORT

There are plenty of benefits associated with meeting the needs of your Millennial Hispanic guests. Paying attention to what your customers are looking for can result in return visits and the coveted loyalty of guests whose generation’s purchasing power will increase significantly both in the near and long-term – along with the financial success of your highly customer-centric business.


 

1 The Hispanic Millennial Project (HMP), a joint research study developed by cross-cultural advertising agency Sensis and leading market research firm ThinkNow Research, 2013-2014.

2 The Hispanic Millennial Project (HMP), a joint research study developed by cross-cultural advertising agency Sensis and leading market research firm ThinkNow Research, 2013-2014.

3 “What Millennials crave from restaurants: The latest word” Mar 10, 2014, from www.restaurant-hospitality.com.

4 The Spanglish Generation: Tapping It to Grow and Conquer Market Share,” by Eduardo Perez, President, PM Publicidad, from The Source Book of Multicultural Experts 2012/13.